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Bike Program Spinning Its Wheels

By Amy Mikel in News on May 30, 2008 5:37PM

velib.JPGSo what’s the status on that city-wide bike-rental program that the Mayor’s office was touting late last year? Chicago is actively looking to imitate the structure of Paris's Vélib program, which is financed by private advertising company JCDecaux, but has not yet been able to settle on a contract. From the Sun-Times:

Transportation Department spokesman Brian Steele said Wednesday that the Daley administration is still entertaining the offer from JC Decaux after a "request for proposals" last year attracted only two companies, neither of which met the mandate to operate a program "at low cost or no cost" to taxpayers.

While Chicago is messing around with logistics, Washington D.C. is poised to become the first American city to implement a public bike rental program. The city began installing bike ports in the spring, and SmartBike DC, sponsored by Clear Channel, is set to be fully operational in early June. Other cities already have similar bike-sharing programs in place, like the Yellow Bike systems in Austin and Lexington.

Image via the noggin_nogged